A Lesson in Physics and Engineering for Data Center Efficiency - InformationWeek

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A Lesson in Physics and Engineering for Data Center Efficiency

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Mitre's infrastructure team used a unique blend of physics, EU voltage standards, and cross-team collaboration to reduce their data center costs by 20%.

Jim Treadway, Chief Engineer of Infrastructure for Mitre stopped by the InformationWeek News Desk at Interop ITX to talk the strategy that won 2nd place in the InformationWeek IT Excellence Awards infrastructure category.

Treadway explains that Mitre had exceeded the capacity of their existing data centers and needed a higher compute capacity while doing that at a lower cost to operate. They looked at co-locations and cloud but those weren't as cost-effective as they wanted. Treadway says that they decided to think of this challenge as a physics problem.

They began exploring different ways to cool a large space, eliminating the option of air, says Treadway, because it isn't a good conductor of heat energy. Mitre's infrastructure team and facilities team ended up coming together for their second challenge, which was optimizing power usage. Here they also took a non-traditional approach and decided to implement a voltage standard that is more efficient in moving electrons, but not a standard in the United States. This meant they had to work hands on with an engineering team to make sure everything was safe and functioned properly.

These changes resulted in an aggregate 20% decrease to the entire data center operating cost. To learn more about how physics were applied to the data center cooling challenge and what the engineering feat accomplished for their data center power, watch the video above.

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